Cavendish Targets Tour de France Green jersey and Worlds in 2010
Top sprinter Mark Cavendish, who's yet to ride off with the green jersey at the Tour de France despite capturing 10 stage wins over the past two editions of the race, says he's making it his mission this season to become the first British winner of the race's sprinter's jersey. "Last year it wasn't a failure for me not to win the green jersey," Cavendish explained. "But this year if I don't win it, it will be a failure."
Top sprinter Mark Cavendish will focus this year on becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France's green jersey and on the road world championships in October, he said on Tuesday.
"Last year it wasn't a failure for me not to win the green (points) jersey, although I was disappointed," Cavendish told reporters at his HTC-Columbia team launch in Mallorca, Spain.
"But this year if I don't win it, it will be a failure."
"From now on until I retire, in the Tour the green jersey will always be my biggest aim.
"There's no way I'm changing that target."
Cavendish, who won six stages at the 2009 Tour including the final stage on Paris' Champs Elysees, said he would also concentrate on the road world championships.
"The world championships (road-race) is also a massive, massive focus for me," he said. "Just thinking about pulling on the (winner's) rainbow jersey gives me goosebumps."
"I know I'll have great support from British cycling and for the next two years the road-race course could be good for me."
Cavendish ruled out taking part in the Oct 3.-14 Commonwealth Games, saying the Paris-Tours Classic, which clashes with the Games, was a bigger objective.
"I made the mistake of putting national pride ahead of my career in the 2008 Olympics and I'm not going to do that again," he said.
Asked if he might consider a change to new British team Sky in the future, Cavendish said his current squad, HTC-Columbia, gave him the ideal support to win races.
"Racing against a home-based setup (like Sky) is going to be strange at first although I've raced against all the guys on that team."
"But at the end of the day I've never made it a secret HTC-Columbia is the perfect place for me to keep on winning races."
Team manager Rolf Aldag said: "Every year we invest more and more resources in Mark because he keeps on succeeding and his goals keep on getting higher.
"So in next year's Tour, rather than having five riders for the sprint stages, we'll add another rider for Mark."
Aldag added HTC-Columbia may also call on German sprinter Andre Greipel, who won 20 races in 2009, as added back-up.
Cavendish said: "We'd have to race together first and see how it works but he could be a big help in the Tour."